August 2019 Digest

School is officially back in session and it’s that time of year when your friends are posting the obligatory first day of school photo of their kid on Instagram. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get a side-by-side comparison of the kid from last year to this year so you can see how much they’ve grown! As someone who doesn’t have or want kids, I usually scroll past these photos (not sorry), but this year, these photos have inspired a call to action for producers….

A common complaint from producers is that we feel invisible. I even wrote a piece in 2014 about how I felt invisible at the Cannes Film Festival. We’re often left out of press releases, festival books, red carpets, interviews etc., but we are also contributing to the invisible cloak producers wear.

Along with the first day of school comes the dreaded school photo, the equivalent of what we now consider to be our ‘headshot.’ The challenge for producers is that no one ever needs or wants a photo of just the producer so we usually don’t have a photo of ourself that we love to share. Because of this, our IMDB page has a blank space where our face should be, allowing ourselves to remain invisible.

The mission of Dear Producer is to raise the profile of producers, to show the industry who we are and the work we do, to share our point of view on the world , and to promote our inclusivity in all areas of the process. But I can’t do it alone.


So as kids are debating what to wear for their school photo, check your IMDB page, make sure you have a current photo of yourself posted, and take credit for the amazing work you are doing. Our industry needs to know who the creative forces are behind a film and that includes the producers. Show your face.

As inspiration, I’ve included my school photo from kindergarten, 1982.

Keep Going,


How Film Producers Became the New Expendables: “There’s Panic and Confusion”
With major studios cutting back movie slates and streaming services focused on talents who also write or direct, the once-thriving middle class among non-writing producers is becoming just the 1 percent and everyone else.

Sundance Faces Existential Questions in Search for New Leadership
As Sundance searches to replace outgoing director John Cooper, it must confront the uncertain future facing independent film as a whole.

Documentaries Are Now the Art-House Lifeline, But Even the Best See Limited Results
“Apollo 11” is the year’s biggest nonfiction hit, but documentaries won’t make up for the collapse of top independent releases.

How Many Independent Films Get A Theatrical Release?
For many independent filmmakers, whether or not their film reaches the big screen means everything. No matter the money to be made via television deals or the massive audiences possible with VOD, a theatrical release is where it’s at.

Yes, Young People Still Go to the Movies: Report Finds 18-24 Is Biggest Moviegoing Segment
A quarter of tickets sold in the last seven years were bought by people ages 18 to 24, according to a new PostTrak report.

The Absurdities of ‘Franchise Fatigue’ & ‘Sequelitis’ (Or, What Is Happening to the Box Office?!)
Another day, another box office disappointment. Or record. Or franchise hit. Or franchise RIP. Or indie sleeper. Or indie sleep-with-the-fishes. What’s going on?

AMC Stubs Subscription Service Hits 900,000 Members
AMC Theatres’ Stubs A-List program, which allows customers to see three movies a week for $19.95 a month, has hit 900,000 subscribers.

Disney Declares Hollywood’s Future: Big Movies in Theaters, Everything Else Is Streaming
The $170 million loss barely registered as a blip, but Bob Iger’s Q3 earnings call will serve as a template for how the industry moves forward.

‘Fast Color’ Reborn: How a Box-Office Blunder Became a Hot New Amazon Series
Everyone said there was no market for an African American female superhero. Now, Amazon and Viola Davis are out to prove them wrong.

Netflix Global Real Estate Grab: How the Streamer Is Expanding From London to Singapore
From sizable investments in studio facilities to high-end office spaces in some of the world’s priciest neighborhoods, the company is quickly building a robust physical presence around the globe — and exporting its unique corporate culture in the process.

Will Netflix’s Ownership of L.A.’s Egyptian Theatre Spark Backlash?
Proponents of the takeover of the iconic film palace call it a win-win, but not every movie buff is happy: “The community will suffer a real loss.”

Martin Scorsese, ‘The Irishman,’ and the Cost of Doing Business With Netflix
Tuesday’s news that the iconic director’s next film—starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino—won’t screen in major theaters underlies the tension every filmmaker faces in the streaming age

Hollywood Keeps Saying Yes to Quibi. Wait, What’s Quibi?
In 2019, Tinseltown types seem to have found a new obsession: signing up to do a project for Quibi, the mobile-centric, short-form streaming-video platform, founded by former Disney and DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, set to launch next spring.

The Case For And Against Katzenberg’s Quibi
Quibi is Jeffrey Katzenberg’s closely-watched premium video service that launches April 2020 and hopes to succeed where others – most notably Verizon with its since-shuttered go90 service – have failed. 

Apple TV+ Headed for November Debut, at $9.99 Per Month – Report
Apple’s premium a la carte streaming service will unleash a wave of high-profile content this fall.

How Two Indie Producers and a Former Wells Fargo Employee Allegedly Scammed Investors for Millions
As they helped finance 2018 Sundance hit “The Tale,” Jason Van Eman and Ben McConley were allegedly running a scam to bilk millions from would-be investors.

$800K and Up: Is Venice Film Fest Worth It for Studios?
For studios and indies alike, a trip to the Lido isn’t cheap, and insiders wonder how much bang they really get for their buck (or euro).

“Completely Tone Deaf”: How Venice Became the F-You Film Festival
Already under fire for its lack of female representation, the event stunned the global film world by setting premieres with Roman Polanski and Nate Parker. Some say it’s an intentional provocation: “The message is loud and clear.”

Should Film Festivals And Distributors Steer Clear Of Controversial Directors In The #MeToo Era?
The cultural landscape has been radically and vitally reshaped by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. As part of that reshaping, a coterie of prominent filmmakers with checkered pasts have become lightning rods for industry debate and division. 

Paranormal Filmmakers Are Skipping Streaming and Publishing Straight to YouTube
Top filmmakers say their work is sanitized by television and Netflix, so they’re finding massive audiences on YouTube instead.

USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and NALIP Study Finds Hollywood Fails To Make The Grade With Latinx Representation In Film
In a study from Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in partnership with National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, Hollywood has failed the Latinx community when it comes to their portrayal in popular movies.

25 New Faces of Independent Film


Netflix Has Now Shipped 5 Billion DVDs to Its Members
Netflix has shipped a total of 5 billion DVDs to its customers since first sending out those iconic red envelopes 21 years ago.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan Rakes In $30 Million By Ditching Netflix And Betting On Himself
For the 53-year-old father of five, it’s been a grueling schedule: more than 75 cities in the past year, including whistle-stops like Letterkenny, a northern community of 20,000 that was once lauded as the Republic’s “tidiest town.”

Paris Theatre Closed: New York City’s Last Single-Screen Cinema Shuts Its Doors
The 581-seat Paris was the nation’s last remaining single-screen cinema dedicated to first-run platform release movies.

Anthony Bourdain Left Behind a Documentary Series About Detroit. But Will It Be Seen?
Bourdain left a legacy of affection and goodwill toward Detroit — and one last gift to a city he loved. A four-part documentary series on the Motor City that he executive produced is all but finished, and now it’s in search of a network or streaming home.

No Room For The Modest Hit Anymore’: Broadway Prepares For Summer Closings
Broadway is coming off a record-breaking season, in terms of attendance and box office receipts. But this weekend and next weekend, five musicals, representing an investment of $95 million, will close.

Ask A Lawyer: What’s Going on With Eminem’s Spotify Lawsuit?
The suit speculates that if the company failed to pay royalties for a song like the chart-topping “Lose Yourself,” then smaller publishers probably weren’t paid properly either.

The Amazon Publishing Juggernaut
What does the e-commerce giant want with the notoriously fickle world of publishing? To own your every reading decision.